Monday, June 30, 2008

Gobind suspended from Parliament


DAP’s first-time member of parliament Gobind Singh Deo was suspended for two days from the Dewan Rakyat following a run-in with the speaker this morning.

pandikar aminThe Puchong MP was thrown out of the House after a 10-minute heated argument, during which he disobeyed numerous orders by Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia (right) to sit down.

The argument started when Gobind asked a supplementary question, after Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan had told the House that the government has no plans to embark on a ‘build and sell’ concept for housing projects as it was still practical.

12th malaysia parliament king officiate 290408 gobindGobind: The government is not committed to the build-and-sell concept. This has got to do with the people’s confidence in the government - just like (PKR de facto leader) Anwar Ibrahim (who) has to take refuge in the Turkish embassy to get a guarantee (of his personal safety).

Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) interjects: This has nothing to do with the (main) question.

Gobind: You sit down!

Speaker: Puchong, sit down, sit down first… You don’t even respect me…

Pandikar Amin went on to explain that the two supplementary questions should be related to the original question as stipulated under the Standing Order.

Gobind: This is an important matter. Two months ago, there was a meeting at the (housing and local government) ministry with the Puchong residents…

Speaker: Puchong, if this has nothing to do with the question…

Gobind: Listen to me first, then you decide, don’t interfere just like that! Two months ago…

Speaker: Could you refer to Standing Order 43 (that the Speaker’s decision is final)?

Puchong: Could you listen to my question first? It’s a very short one. We had a meeting before…

Speaker: Sit down! Or else I will use my power under Standing Order 43.

Gobind: Use it! I’m an MP, I’m raising this matter (on behalf of my constituents) Go ahead! I haven’t even given my question!

Speaker: I want you to leave this meeting for two days.

Gobind was escorted out of the House by the sergeant-at-arms.

Met in the lobby, he was adamant about asking the question again.

“I’ll be coming back until the question is answered. (It not that) I do not respect the House but as an MP, why don’t I have the right to speak for my people? They need the answer to my question,” he told reporters.

He pledged to get an answer no matter how many times he is thrown out of the chamber.

If MPs are not allowed to ask questions, “it will be a waste of time” to attend Parliament sitting, an angry Gobind added.

lim kit siang 311004Veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timor) said the speaker’s decision was ‘uncalled for’.

“(Gobind) shouldn’t have been suspended just for doing his job,” Lim added.

Speaker explains

Meanwhile, speaker Pandikar Amin explained to reporters as to why he had suspended Gobind.

"I was forced to use my power (against him)... But if I did not take any action, everyone else would follow suit," he told reporters at his office at the end of today's session.

On Gobind's insistence to show up at the sitting tomorrow, Pandikar Amin said that the two-day suspension will still be in place.

"I have given him two days (of suspension), just wait and see. Let him come tomorrow, he's a lawyer and he should know the rules," he added.